Q-and-A with Apache Junction council candidate Gail Evans

Gail Evans

Two Apache Junction residents are running for mayor and four for three seats on the council in the Aug. 28 primary election. The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent e-mailed questionnaires to the candidates. They will be posted online in the order they were received.

Name: Gail A. Evans

Age: 65

Education: Norwin Senior High School Irwin, Pennsylvania; licensed Realtor since 1987.

Present or most recent business/employment: Semi-retired Realtor and owner of office rentals.

Previous public office, boards and commissions (and what years): I was appointed to city council to fill a vacancy for one year and then was elected in the following election. That election term was for five year, which ends Dec. 31. I served on planning and zoning for the preceding six years.

What is the role of the city council? To work with city management, and citizens, towards the best possible outcomes in advancing the city into the future.

If elected, what will you accomplish in your first 100 days in office?: To continue working on the council’s work plan with as little interruption as possible. We have worked from this plan with some items carried over and many items completed. It is the council as a whole, direction to staff. Individuals’ direction are not productive unless voted upon.

What are your hopes for the city of Apache Junction?: I would like to maintain our friendly, hometown atmosphere, while continuing in smart growth, not just expansion.

How would you rate the state of public transportation in the city of Apache Junction? What changes would you recommend?: I would love to have some public transportation. However, at the least establish a scheduled connector to the Valley Metro at Power and U.S. Highway 60.

Name one un-funded or under-funded program or project you would promote as a member of the city council and why: As always with the state sweeping federal monies noted for cities and towns, our roads, maintenance of roads is always one of big challenges.

What types of jobs does Apache Junction need? What is your plan for economic development?: Jobs are always created from development of both commercial and residential expansion. I am focusing on infill developments north of the U.S. Highway 60. With many acres of state land around, the city that has water, power, etc. already existing; that is what the State Land Department considers saleable. Developers want utilities on the property or close at hand. Even GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) has said developers, companies have never asked for raw land. We need to spend some of our time looking into how to expand our water, power, sewer so we are ready.

What makes you different from the other candidates? How will you make a difference on the city council?: My 31 years in real estate sets me apart in my knowledge of land, construction and development. Why and what we need to do to make our neighborhoods more user friendly and what is needed as housing choices in the city is limited.

If residents of Gold Canyon petitioned to be annexed into the city of Apache Junction, would you vote yes? Why or why not?: At this time, I would have to vote no until a cost analysis would be completed. Gold Canyon just like any other county area would come at a cost to the city. There is some retail in Gold Canyon that the city would gain sales tax dollars from; however, the cost to the city in road maintenance, police protection and parks maintenance would have to be studied. The council agreed at our last council retreat to focus on county islands within our existing city limits and not any other areas. Gold Canyon would benefit more than the city; however it may push our population number to the 50,000 where then the city qualifies for more state and federal funding based on population.

What opportunities do you see for regional collaboration?: I would love more regional collaboration. Our council has met with Queen Creek council and we have a scheduled meeting with the town of Superior as well.

In August voters will decide if a permanent base adjustment budget is approved in one election that would be adjusted annually by population and inflation. Are you in favor of this? Why or why not?: The permanent base adjustment is a must. Without this our hands our tied every four years in the Home Rule. Permanent base saves at least $10,000 every four-year election cycle. The city still can’t spend more than our budget limits, but we won’t lose the ability to spend the money we receive in revenues and have the state tell us what we can spend. Home Rule also takes us back to the beginning of the city with one police officer, no parks, no library, etc. It is an very over-reaching extension of state control.

E-mail: gdcevans@gmail.com.

Campaign office phone number: 480-818-2840.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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